Falcons track down Cougars
Football: Foothills Composite dominant in home opener
By: By Remy Greer
| Posted: Wednesday, Sep 11, 2013 09:48 pm
A balanced offence and aggressive defence was the perfect recipe for a Foothills Falcons feast in their home opener.
Foothills Composite cruised to a comfortable 37-13 win over the Cardston Cougars in high school football action Friday at Falcons Field in Okotoks.
“It was big and especially at home it was one of those things we really wanted,” said Falcons quarterback Hunter Karl. “We heard Cardston beat AOB (defending Tier II champion Austin O’Brien) and we beat Harry Ainlay last year so we wanted to make a statement. We wanted to say we’re the best team in Tier II and we’re coming to get farther than we did last year.”
It’s been a promising start in that quest.
The Falcons’ sparkling home debut represented a marked improvement on their 32-16 win in Lethbridge the week prior.
“We had a solid first half offensively and defensively,” said Falcons head coach Darren Olson. “The defence played a lot better than last weekend.
“Our interior guys played really well, linebackers played really well.”
Linebacker Cody Thompson, in particular.
The Grade 12 Falcon was all over the Cougars’ playmakers and kept Cardston’s scrambling quarterback Tanner Quinton in the pocket for most of four quarters.
“I was just trying to lead my team and show them how it’s done and be there when I need to,” Thompson said. “It’s actually a good thing that he scrambles like that so later on in the season we can counteract that.”
Foothills took its dedicated fans out of their seats on their first home possession of the year when Karl found speedster TJ Tighe for a 45-yard score as rain peppered the Falcons’ field.
“We love that play and if we look at each other that’s the play we want,” Karl said. “Just put that ball up, the corners can be 10 yards back and (Tighe’s) fast enough to get around him.”
After establishing the aerial attack, Grade 12 tailback Josh Koshman put his stamp on the contest. On the first play of the second quarter he cut back 28 yards to the left for his first of two touchdowns. Minutes later, Koshman doubled his output on a goal-line interior run to give Foothills a 21-0 advantage at the half.
In the second half, Karl nearly added to the lead with an awe-inspiring run. He called his own number ran right and cut back to the left for a 65-yard run and was tackled mere inches away from the end zone.
“That was frustrating,” he said with a smile. “I thought I had the corner on him and underestimated his speed and he got to me… I thought I got in.”
The Cougars promptly forced the Falcons to turn it over on downs on a great goal-line stand. On their next possession, the Falcons moved the ball with fluidity before Karl found a wide-open Trey Kellogg for a two-yard touchdown for the Grade 10 receiver.
Cardston finally got on the board at the beginning of the fourth quarter when Quinton shuffled to the right flank and scampered five yards untouched into the end zone.
The southpaw quarterback added a late consolation 15-yard touchdown throw to runningback Spencer Miller to narrow the gap to 30-13.
“When you get up on a team like that you’re not quite as crisp, you loosen up a bit,” Olson said. “He’s a good athlete that quarterback and their running back is a big bull too, but they didn’t do a whole lot differently in the second-half. We just weren’t quite as effective.”
Foothills nipped the comeback attempt in the bud on its next possession.
After Falcon Morgan Burbank recovered the Cardston onside kick, Karl worked the ball into the red-zone with more dynamic option running. The Grade 12 signal caller then connected again with Tighe for a 10-yard score on a fade route.
Following the game, Karl credited his offensive line for great protection in establishing both the running and passing game.
“Our line is fantastic this year,” he said. “One of the biggest things is we’re all really good friends. If one person does something we hold each other accountable and make it up for each other.
“If we have a bad snap or bad block, you know it’s not going to happen next time.”
The victory improved the Falcons’ record to 2-0 and they have moved up to No. 3 in the Tier II provincial rankings.
Next up for the Falcons is a short trip to Calgary for a Saturday date with the Ernest Manning Griffins.
“That’s going to be a tough one. They’re a big school and have some pretty good talent there this year,” Olson said. “But we just get ready again and try to get better every week.”
Kick-off is noon at the Calgary school, located at 20 Springborough Blvd SW.
Foothills will host a junior varsity game on June 17 against the Highwood Mustangs.
For more information go to footballalberta.ab.ca